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2. Growth Breeding Values

Breeding values for growth effect one of the key areas of performance on-farm. Growth breeding values demonstrate an individuals genetic ability to achieve growth targets.

 

Click on the individual trait you are interested in:

 

 

200 Day Growth  400 Day Growth  Milk
600 Day Growth Mature Cow Wt

 

 


200 Day Growth (200)

200 Day Growth EBVs are estimates of genetic differences between animals in live weight at 200 days of age due to genetics for growth.

Higher 200 Day Growth EBVs indicate the animal is expected to produce progeny with heavier live weights at 200 days of age.

200 is expressed in kilogram units.

 

Collecting 200 Day Weights

Live weights taken on calves when the average age of the contemporary group is between 80 and 300 days of age are used to calculate both 200 Day Growth EBVs and Milk EBVs within Angus BREEDPLAN.

All calves in a contemporary group should be weighed on the same day.

Angus BREEDPLAN will not directly compare the 200 day weights of calves that have been weighed on different days. Similarly, any subsequent performance for calves weighed on different days at 200 days will also be analysed in separate groups (e.g. 400 day weights, ultrasound scanning measurements).

Things to consider – Scales

The weigh scales are a invaluable tool to producers however can be misleading if not used correctly.

  • When taking weights of animals it is important the animal is not leaning against the sides of the race or standing on side rails
  • Have you check the scales calibration?
  • Is the animal moving or shifting its weight on the scale?

 


400 Day Growth (400)

400 Day Weight EBVs are estimates of genetic differences between animals in live weight at 400 days of age.

Higher 400 Day Weight EBVs indicate the animal is expected to produce progeny with heavier live weights at 400 days of age.

400 is expressed in kilogram units.

 

Collecting 400 Day Weights

Live weights taken on animals when the average age of the contemporary group is between 301 and 500 days of age are used to calculate 400 Day Weight EBVs within Angus BREEDPLAN.

Within this age range, a date should be chosen that fits in with normal, routine management practices and is reasonably close to when the average age of the group of animals is 400 days of age.

Angus BREEDPLAN will not directly compare the 400 day weights of animals that have been weighed on different days. Similarly, any subsequent performance for animals weighed on different days at 400 days will also be analysed in separate groups (e.g. 600 day weights, ultrasound scanning measurements).


600 Day Growth (600)

600 Day Weight EBVs are estimates of genetic differences between animals in live weight at 600 days of age.

Higher 600 Day Weight EBVs indicate the animal is expected to produce progeny with heavier live weights at 600 days of age.

600 is expressed in kilogram units.

 

Collecting 600 Day Weights

Live weights taken on animals when the average age of the contemporary group is between 501 and 900 days of age are used to calculate 600 Day Weight EBVs within Angus BREEDPLAN.

Within this age range, a date should be chosen that fits in with normal, routine management practices (e.g. pregnancy testing heifers) and is reasonably close to when the average age of the group of animals is 600 days of age.

Angus BREEDPLAN will not directly compare the 600 day weights of animals that have been weighed on different days. 600 day weights should be collected when animals are in as large a group as possible.  Consequently, try to collect 600 day weights before any of the animals in a management group are treated differently (e.g. sale bulls).

 

Things to consider – Gut fill

Gut fill relates to the contents of the animals digestive system (e.g. stomach, bladder) and is as a significant influence on the live weight of an animal. After 2hrs off feed and water an animals live weight is expected to drop by 2.5% which in a 500kg cow is 12.5kg.

This is a normal part of a cows normal function and is why its important if animals within the herd have been treated differently such as being brought in early that they are assigned separate management groups.

For further background information regarding gut fill.


Mature Cow Weight

Mature Cow Weight EBVs are estimates of genetic differences between animals in live weight of cows at 5 years of age.

Higher Mature Cow Weight EBVs indicate the animal is expected to produce daughters with heavier mature weights. Heavier mature weights are associated with higher feed and maintenance costs, but conversely higher returns for cull cows.

MCW is expressed in kilogram units.

 

Collecting Mature Cow Weights

Weights recorded for cows at the same time as the 200 day weights are recorded for their calves are used to calculate Mature Cow Weight EBVs within Angus BREEDPLAN.

Angus BREEDPLAN will only analyse mature weight information for a cow if the first valid mature weight for the cow has been taken before the animal is 6 years of age (2200 days). If not, then none of the mature weights for the cow will be analysed.

Angus BREEDPLAN will only analyse the weight of a mature cow if the cow has a calf with a weight recorded within 2 weeks of when the mature weight was taken and further, the calf was between 80 – 330 days of age when it was weighed.

Mature weights should be recorded for all females in a mob on the same day. Management group information should be recorded for any cows or group of cows that have been treated differently or exposed to significant non-genetic influences prior to weighing that may affect their weight.

 


Milk

Milk EBVs are estimates of genetic differences between animals in live weight at 200 days of age due to the maternal contribution of its dam.

Higher Milk EBVs indicate the animal is expected to produce daughters that have heavier calves at 200 days of age due to superior maternal attributes (e.g. more milk).

Milk is expressed in kilogram units.